| Share
 

Divinity in Odd Numbers

Falstaff tells us (in the Merry Wives of Windsor, v. 1) that this divinity affects “nativity, chance, and death.” A Trinity is by no means confined to the Christian creed. The Brahmins represent their god with three heads; the Greeks and Romans had three Graces, three Fates, three Furies, and a three-fold Hecate. Jupiter had his three thunderbolts, Neptune his trident, and Pluto his three-headed dog. The Muses were three times three. Pythagoras says God is threefold—“the beginning, middle, and end of all things.” Then, again, there are five features, five parts to the body, five vowels, five lines in music, five acts to a play, etc.; seven strings to a harp, seven planets (anciently, at any rate), seven musical notes, etc.

Chance.
There's luck in odd numbers “Numero Deus impre gaudet” (Virgil: `Eclogue viii. 75). The seventh son of a seventh son was always held notable. Baalam would have seven altars, and sacrificed on them seven bullocks and seven rams. Naaman was commanded to dip seven times in Jordan, and Elijah sent his servant seven times to look out for rain. Climacteric years are seven and nine with their multiples by odd numbers.

Death.
The great climacteric year of life is 63 (i.e. 7 × 9), and Saturn presides over all climacteric years.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Divinity in Odd Numbers from Infoplease:

  • Divinity in Odd Numbers - Divinity in Odd Numbers Falstaff tells us (in the Merry Wives of Windsor, v. 1) that this divinity ...
  • William Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V - Prithee, no more prattling; go. I'll hold. This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away I go. They say there is divinity in odd
  • Odd Numbers - Odd Numbers Luck in odd numbers. A major chord consists of a fundamental or tonic, its major third, ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: D - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "D"

Related Content


24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring